Is Wheel of Fortune bad in Sligh decks? (notes from Eric Taylor and Darwin Kastle)

Discussion in 'Single Card Strategies' started by rakso, Apr 11, 2001.

  1. rakso New Member

    I hope you guys don't mind, but I'd like to put a copy here, 'cause it's rather interesting.

    Veteran CPA Member

    Registered: Aug 2000
    Posts: 135
    Wheel of Fortune? Bad in a red deck with cheap spells?

    That'll be the day...

    Type I and Casual Moderator,
    Beyond Dominia (

    I wouldn't play Wheel because most of the time
    it helps your opponent enough that it isn't worthwhile.
    Many type 1 decks are searching for key cards to dominate the game
    (e.g. Keeper) or straight out win it (various combo) and giving them
    7 cards while probably tapping out and letting them have first
    use of the new hand is probably not that great.
    If Wheel was instant it would be very good
    If I knew what I was likely to play against its possible that Wheel would
    be an OK choice, but there would probably be better metagame cards whatever.
    Ishii , Godinez , Kastle all played sligh in Syndey and none of them played
    Wheel, even though they had Moxes making it a better card in their decks.
    Before Necro was restricted Wheel was a little bit better.

    If I was to play T1 mono sligh without power cards
    would play something like

    4 Goblin Cadet
    4 Jackal Pup
    2 Gorilla Shaman
    4 Mogg Fanatic / or maybe 4 Shaman 2 Fanatic
    2 Ball Lightning
    2 Cursed Scroll
    4 Lightning Bolt
    2 Chain Lightning
    2 Shock
    4 Incinerate
    4 Fireblast
    2 Price of Progress / or maybe more Shock
    16 Mountain
    4 Wasteland
    1 Strip Mine
    3 Mishra's Factory / probably play these might not

    but probably metagamed a bit maybe maindeck Pyro
    maybe more Scrolls, maybe Blood Moon, maybe Tactics.
    Wouldn't mind 2-3 Ironclaw Orcs to have some guys
    that don't get Kegged as much.
    Flame Rift would be OK if there aren't any other creature decks.


    Veteran CPA Member

    Registered: Aug 2000
    Posts: 136
    I find this to be an interesting opinion, but in the years I've played it, I simply never lost a game after playing Wheel of Fortune using a mono red deck.

    Most of the time, yes, they're getting cards too, but most of the time they'll have more cards in hand since you shouldl've emptied yours fast. When Sligh is reduced to a topdeck situation, that is the point when it can be dominated, and Wheel of Fortune and Cursed Scroll are main cards that get you out of that.

    Yes, your opponent can draw into a new hand which includes "silver bullets"; he can even tutor in response to Wheel. But you can be wrecking a built up hand, too, and I still think that refilling your more depleted hand is better.

    You are actually overestimating the control and combo decks here. I play my Keeper version against one particular friend's Sligh deck and always go 50-50, depending on our draws. There is no single "silver bullet" for Sligh, and you have to get BOTH Ivory Mask and Moat in play, and even then have to watch out for Flame Rift and Price of Progress.

    As for combo... well, combo is generally no longer fast enough to overtake aggro decks in Type I.

    Finally, I think Wheel and Timetwister and even Windfall work well enough for aggressive Type I decks since they differentiate the Zoo decks from something like Type II Fires. Playing these, I always find myself needing to tutor for and regrow Wheel and Timetwister to accelerate the deck, and this is against most opponents.

    I note that Alex Shvartsman tried Zoo without the Wheel and Timetwister card advantage engines, and didn't win a match, even after first-turn Blastoderm.

    Yes, there are some games you wouldn't play these, but even some Type I control players swear by Timetwister as an emergency card in their decks, though it is in fact dead in a lot of situations. (Jon Finkel maindecked it, incidentally.)

    As for your reference to the Sligh players who did not use Wheel, well, Ben Rubin used both Wheel of Fortune AND Timetwister in his deck (though he had to forego Fireblast for this) and placed 2-1 just like Kastle and Ishii, and placed higher than Godinez's 1-2.

    Dave Price also used Timetwister in his arfifact-fatty based deck, and his deck is proven to work. He also went 2-1.

    I'd also note that maybe Kastle was more interested in Cursed Scroll as his backup plan.

    I'm also not sure about how much Ishii knows about Type I, since his deck had a subtheme of trying to shut down Moxen, and he even had a maindeck Artifact Blast.

    I honestly wouldn't listen to the "pros" on Type I, except the people who do play it. Mike Pustilnik has a mean Keeper variant I hear, and his tech is Mishra's Factory, for example.

    Type I and Casual Moderator,
    Beyond Dominia (

    By Nick Franceschine, the Loremaster (Nick) on Thursday, March 01, 2001 - 11:48 am:
    When I play control against red Sligh, I ALWAYS counter the Wheel. When I play red against control, my opponent ALWAYS counters the Wheel when he can.

    That pretty much covers it.

    By Rakso, Patriarch & Rules Ayatollah (Rakso) on Friday, March 02, 2001 - 09:52 am:
    Here's an interesting insight from Eric Taylor:

    ----- Original Message -----
    To: "Oscar Tan"
    Sent: Friday, March 02, 2001 10:25 PM
    Subject: Re: Wheel of Fortune in Type I

    > Conventional wisdom said red should use wheel, for the obvious reason that
    > it is immense card advantage when you use it. Other than Ben Rubin none of
    > the red beatdown decks used wheel. Apparently something has changed in
    > type 1 that has caused wheel to be less good.
    > If you look closely at the decks you will notice 1 card Rubin has that the
    > other beatdown decks don't: Yawgmoth's Will. Could this be the reason
    > that the other decks don't run wheel? In fact, nearly every deck in the
    > format runs Yawgmoth's Will. It is possible that the presence of this
    > single restricted card has changed the wheel of fortune from a pure
    > blessing into a sometimes liability, as even though the wheel moves the
    > cards to the grave, if the opponent casts Yawgmoth's Will they can still
    > access the graveyard cards.
    > Certainly something has changed in type 1 for so many red aggressive decks
    > to give up the chance to run the wheel. I can't tell for certain why they
    > have done so, so I would have to do some playtesting first, but my
    > inclination is to look closely at this tendency to run a Yawgmoth's Will
    > card in just about every deck and see if it has changed the way that type
    > 1 works.
    > It's possible that you can't run wheel in a type 1 deck anymore unless you
    > also are running Yawgmoth's Will, as you might not gain the same card
    > advantage that this card used to.
    > Then again, mind twist is in newly in the mix now, and having a wheel of
    > fortune in your deck gives you at least a chance to recover from a twist.
    > Personally the thing that bothers me more than not running wheel is how
    > these red decks don't run more cursed scrolls. If you're not running wheel
    > of fortune why wouldn't you run cursed scrolls?
    > I'm afraid I don't have an answer for the question "Should red decks use
    > the Wheel?" Just because wheel was good in the past in red decks doesn't
    > necessarily mean it is good now. I bet if you did some playtesting with
    > the invitational decks against each other, you might find out why they
    > don't have wheel. Maybe it's a mistake, and they should have it. Or
    > maybe the wheel doesn't work as well as it used to in red decks.
    > --- edt

    By Deranged Parrot (Parrot) on Friday, March 02, 2001 - 10:56 am:
    Eric Taylor's wrong!

    Well, a bit. In mono-red against control matchups, you often get to a point where you're at low life and just about to take control of the game if you could just get another counter. When your opponenet plays Wheel(or Twister, Ancestral or Windfall, with Jelal's version, which I think is probably better than any invitational red deck), they get the burn they need to finish you off. Against any aggressive deck, you always want to counter anything that would let them get more cards to throw at you. If a big card drawer resolves, then you lose, because you probably get one or two counters, but your opponent gets more burn and creatures than you can stop before they kill you.

    From my experiences with this sort of decks, I personally would be willing to splash Ancestral, Windfall, Timetwister, and Time Walk off of Land Grants, Volcanic Islands, and one Tropical, even in an almost purely red version of the deck. The "Draw a Bunch of Cards" cards are just *that* good.

    By Deranged Parrot (Parrot) on Friday, March 02, 2001 - 11:00 am:
    Also, true to Eric Taylor form, he assumes that the Invitational T1 decks knew what they were doing. They didn't. Almost all of the red decks were basically Extended with Mox and Lotus thrown in. Ben Rubin, in my opinion, had the most interesting deck there, but it had problems with not having enough aggro creatures.

    How do we get the pros' attentions? I'd love to see Zvi play a halfway decent version of Accelerated Blue next year, and the thought of Finkel with an optimal Keeper version makes me shudder.

    By Matt D'Avanzo (Matt) on Friday, March 02, 2001 - 01:44 pm:
    That would be Eric Taylor. I used to really like his articles, but everything he writes has been making me really irrated in the last two years. I just don't think he knows what he's talking about anymore...

    Wheel is the only card advantage in the whole deck. If your hand is empty and control is starting to stabilize it's
    your last hope. Tapping out shouldn't be a huge concern with this deck. Of course there are times when you might not want to wheel--you can tell if your opponent is at low life and is desperately seraching for an answer to some threat you have on the board wheel might help them (despite gaining you more cards that him). Chances are, should they find an answer they have
    been devoting all their energy to finding it and not doing important things like tutoring for/recursing card draw spells--thus the wheel will go through and leave you with a whole bunch of new threats.

    Do you splash for Twister and other good cards? That's a different story. Your deck may lose focus, become open to wasteland, etc. I think Land Grant Sligh (with no non-red but the enchantment kill) is good, but if you start putting in a whole bunch of off-color stuff you might as well just play zoo (thus zoo is starting to look a lot like sligh).


    By The Maxx,. the Guru of Foolishness (Maxx) on Friday, March 02, 2001 - 03:27 pm:
    Well, not countering a Wheel lost me game 3, match 1, of the T1ToC2. So I think every sligh deck should have one. It makes it possible to beat me! ;)

    The Maxx

    By Rakso, Patriarch & Rules Ayatollah (Rakso) on Monday, April 09, 2001 - 12:26 am:
    New installment to the mystery:

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Alex Shvartsman"
    To: "Oscar Tan"
    Sent: Monday, April 09, 2001 10:53 AM
    Subject: Re: Fw: Wheel of Fortune in Type I

    > Twister is a sideboard card against discard decks. I did not maindeck it
    > because I do not want to replenish my opponent's hand as well as mine, and
    > my deck is not Sligh, it is not so fast that I will always play out my cards
    > before they do. Wheel could work as SB against discard too, but I could not
    > afford an extra slot vs them
    > Alex
    > At 01:41 AM 4/9/01 +0800, you wrote:
    > >May I ask YOU why you didn't run a Wheel of Fortune in your T1 deck despite
    > >having a Timetwister in the sideboard?
    > >
    > >Thanks.
    > >
    > >Oscar

    By Rakso, Patriarch & Rules Ayatollah (Rakso) on Wednesday, April 11, 2001 - 12:08 am:
    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Darwin Kastle"
    To: "Oscar Tan"
    Sent: Wednesday, April 11, 2001 5:54 AM
    Subject: Re: Your T1 Invitational Deck?

    > Hmmm...
    > Black Lotus and Wheel of Fortune... these cards seem good... in fact they
    > are good... I playtested both of them... I find that design changes have a
    > cascade effect... at some point I had Y's Will, Wheel, Twister, Mind Twist,
    > Sol Ring, and Lotus in my deck... at that point I found while all these
    > cards are powerful, they had some or all of the following drawbacks: they
    > were not powerful enough in the early game (the only game that mattered for
    > that deck); they were vulnerable to Mind Twist's return because they were
    > sitting in my hand for one or more of the following reasons: they were more
    > than 2 to cast, they were too situational, they were off color; they were
    > vulnerable to permission for the same reasons; they weren't good in the
    > mirror; etc.....
    > then the cascade effect came into play... when I pulled some of these cards,
    > others became weaker... like without cards like Wheel, Twister, and Will,
    > then Lotus became less useful... I tried to design my deck to be lowcasting
    > cost red or colorless threats that could impact the game from turn one and
    > straight off the top of the deck... this worked well with my decision to use
    > cursed scroll... Cursed Scroll could impact a game as much as many
    > restricted cards and it was better against things like permission and
    > discard... it was more removal against creature decks and a relentless
    > threat easy to slip through control's defenses... there you have it... -DK

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